French tourists 'held for ransom' | News | Al Jazeera

French tourists 'held for ransom'

Somali pirates demand more than $1m to free hostages, maritime offical says.

    Eight ships have been hijacked in the Gulf of Aden since the end of July [File pic - AFP]

    "We can only pray that the pirates release the hostages. We are powerless to help," said Abdullahi Saed Yusuf, the district commissioner of Eyl.

    Commando operation

    The French foreign ministry said earlier that two French nationals were seized with the Venezuelan-registered boat.

    French commandos carried out an operation in April and captured six pirates after a group of Somalis seized a French luxury sailing ship, Le Ponant, with its 30 crew, including 22 French nationals, and held them for a week.

    Since the end of July, eight ships have been hijacked in the Gulf of Aden, including two Malaysian vessels as well as others from Germany, Iran and Japan.

    The waters off Somalia are the most dangerous in the world for pirate attacks, with the International maritime bureau reporting 24 incidents in the area between April and June this year.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The State of Lebanon

    The State of Lebanon

    Amid deepening regional rivalries what does the future hold for Lebanon's long established political dynasties?

    Exploited, hated, killed: The lives of African fruit pickers

    Exploited, hated, killed: Italy's African fruit pickers

    Thousands of Africans pick fruit and vegetables for a pittance as supermarkets profit, and face violent abuse.